Tips for Using Downtime Codes

and Gaining Operator Buy-in

Get the Most Out of Machine Downtime Narration

In our years providing smart manufacturing solutions, we have come up with various helpful tips, reporting examples, and best practices learned from our ShiftWorx users.

  • Using Multiple Views on a Single Display
  • Reading Notes for Downtime Code Entries
  • Using Colors in Reason Code Reports
  • Encouraging the Entry of Reason Codes
FreePoint Technologies Narrative Application

Multiple Views on a Single Display

To be able to rapidly switch from one view to another, many customers choose to open multiple instances of ShiftWorx, with:

  • WatchLive showing a group of machines of interest
  • Narrative showing a specific machine of interest

The examples to the left shows that 2 instances of ShiftWorx are running, with the WatchLive instance in one tab, and narrative in the other. This is the view that would be typically on the floor for everyone in that area to see.

In the example, only 2 of the machines are active this particular day. If a supervisor or manager wants a quick view of down time reasons for these two machines, they need only click the Narrative ShiftWorx instance on the browser bar. In the example to the left, the second instance of ShiftWorx is set to the Narrative module showing the activity of machine 20 and 24.

Having 2 instances running eliminates the need to go back to Dashboard to change between the WatchLive view and the Narrative view.

Read Downtime Code Entry Notes

On the Narrative screen to the right, the small “notes” icon beside the machine name is amber, indicating at least one downtime period has a note added to it by the operator or maintenance person. Clicking on the “notes” icon will open up a window that displays all the notes added recently, indicating the time and date the note was added.

Paying attention to these notes by speaking to the operator or maintenance person and mentioning that you’ve read it is important to do, even if you cannot resolve the issue at that time. If operators know the notes are read, they will continue to enter them. If they are not being read, they will likely stop.

FreePoint Technologies Narrative Reporting

Use Color in Reason Code Reports

Downtime reason codes can be grouped into categories, and each category can have its own color. This is very useful for making key information evident at a glance. For instance, if all:

  • anticipated reasons for being down were amber
  • production related reasons were green
  • management related reasons were grey
  • unexpected reasons were red

A quick glance at the Reason Code Report would draw the viewer to the appropriate conclusion quickly.

In pareto format, seeing grey, green and amber columns on the left indicate everything is going according to plan. Seeing red columns closer to the left side however, indicate that something unexpected requires attention.

Encourage Reason Code Use

To encourage Operators to enter reason codes, the Reason Code Report includes a report that shows what percentage of down time periods have been identified. The example to the right indicates strong buy-in by the Operators.

Five best practices that improve reason code usage (and overall engagement) include:

  • Post the pareto chart in a highly visible place weekly
  • Comment on/acknowledge notes added to the down time period
  • Recognize improvements resulting from reason code data
  • Post the downtime code usage report summary in a visible place
  • Acknowledge or reward those with high reporting percentages

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